Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phi (Fi Fo Fum)

Art is not a science and never will be, there's too much personal interpretation, but artists use scientific theory and mathematical concepts along with their creativity.

For instance: .618. It's not just a number. And it's not a type of ammunition, or the change in your pocket or a new interpretation of pi (3.14.......). It's phi, an amazing concept and numerical value that is used by artists and others in their quest for perfect balance and natural aesthetics. Architects use it, graphic artists work with it.

Phi is the golden ratio; Leonardo da Vinci painted using the unique formula. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887. Phi is infinite. It's actually a never-ending decimal that just goes on and on and on....

Today I heard an amazing artist talk about his work, how he creates his majestic landscape paintings and his loyalty to the golden rectangle (or golden ratio).

I learned so much. I am going to spend some time researching and experimenting with phi as a basic formula that can be used in composition. It's already used in music and I imagine there are writers who already use it; "Leo"certainly got it, but I am just learning about the interesting connection between math and gold. I suppose there are some who would refer me to compound interest and the principle of saving 10% of your income, but today I am thinking about something different - I am thinking about phi.

So, phi is the infinite non-repeating decimal 1.6180339887.... Phi also governs the proportions of the pyramids, the Parthenon, and your height divided by the distance from your belly button to the floor = phi. And according to the Da Vinci Code, it's a mystical number.

It's still a bit of a mystery to me, but it shouldn't be. I mean, how young could I have been when I first heard about it? Maybe 3 years old? I remember Jack and the Beanstalk, and the giant and the goose that laid the golden eggs. I just never realized how smart that giant was...I thought he was just ranting and rhyming an almost when in reality he was thinking more along the lines of Leonardo da Vinci, chanting symbolic mathematical phrases relating to gold.

Mystical or maybe magical? Jack or Mickey? Art or science? I think it's time for a little experiment; ohmmm is going to have to take a back seat tonight during yoga with me and Wii and Fifi. I'll get back to you with the results. Phi-fi-fo-ohmmmmmmmmmm...........

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